Canada’s Pied Piper Province — How Alberta Became Rat-less

Appeared in, October 28, 2018

Alberta, Canada, is the Pied Piper location of North America: there are no rats in Alberta. 

The story of how Alberta got rid of rats

It began sometime in the early 1950s when the prairie dog population was infected with an illness that caused bubonic and pneumonia in humans. Rats were dining on prairie dogs and becoming too close to humans. Thus, passing on the disease. Although there was no plague in the Alberta human population, some people got sick.

The government’s Department of Health recognized the possible severity of the situation and stepped in to stop this disease before it spread. When they realized rats were the cause, they looked for ways to get rid of the pests. At that time, Saskatchewan was blamed for the rats because they seemed to be coming from that direction. The Western border of Alberta is the Rocky Mountains, and although rats came into the province from there, they were small in number. 

Coupled with diseases, the rats were also taking a toll on agriculture. Back in the early 1950s, farming was the chief […]